Satsuki Azalea, ‘Matsunami’ … maybe?

This was from a buddy in Mobile. He and I exchanged some Satsuki cuttings, and I think I definitely got the better end of the deal. The cultivar is unknown, but I’m wondering if it is a Matsunami. Here is the parent tree:

And here is the cutting, along with some close-ups of the varied individual flowers.

A few examples on the ‘Matsunami’

Satsuki Mania:

http://satsukimania.com/en/varieties/317-matsunami

Back Yard Gardener:

https://www.backyardgardener.com/plantname/rhododendron-hybrida-matsunami-satsuki-azalea/

Choux Creme:

https://chouxcreme1.wordpress.com/2016/06/19/rhododendron-indium-matsunami/

Winter Wiring of an Ume, Prunus mume

It has been around 5 years since I wired this tree out completely. The branches get long and leggy, and they don’t back us well. To top it off, the branches are crazy brittle and the already-precious buds are very easy to knock off. Imagine wiring a pretzel stick and trying to get it to bend not break, and also not knock off any of the salt crystals…which are about as well-attached to a pretzel stick as the buds are to the branch.

My goal was to simply move the branches into a more horizontal position, and to thin out a couple areas on the right side, where the tree had grown pretty strong. To accomplish this, I used oversized aluminum wire, wired every branch first, then began to place the branches, by moving the wires, not the wood. Several still snapped, but on balance, I was able to move the branches into a more horizontal plane without knocking off too many buds along the way. When spring hits, I’ll know the extent of the damage…

The additional challenge with Ume is that the viable buds are out toward the tips, so they can’t simply be cut back to length, because if a viable bud isn’t present, that branch will likely die. This means I need to work with as much of the tree as possible.

Before:

Wired:

Branches moved into position:

The apex definitely needs work, but at least the branches are tamed.

Here are a couple more parting shots. Thanks for reading.

Chojubai quince update

Just a quick update on the Japanese flowering quince, ‘Chojubai’. These are very small plants, but vigorous growers. Mine flower from September through about April, so there is always something of interest…to viewers and to aphids…

As purchased in 2 3/4″ pot from Evergreen Gardenworks, April 2013:

I think this one is on the right, being grown as a single trunk, and is about 4″ tall, in a oversized Bigei pot:

And maybe slated for this beautiful blue Tofukuji pot at some point.

Which would make this the one from the left, 7 growing seasons later…all in a pot:

The orange leaves and red flowers look great atop the aqua pot by Byron Myrick. With the leaves removed:

The bark is starting to develop, and winter is a great time to examine the trees’ progress, and look for problems as well.

See the aphids clustered around the base of the buds too? Time to hit everything with a winter pest control program!

Happy New Year y’all!